How Much Is TOO Much?

Posted by The Wine Whore |

I was recently talking with wine lover and fellow blogger Alder Yarrow from Vinography and he said something that made me think...

How many bottles is TOO many to try to taste in ONE sitting?

He told me the other night that he was tasting through over 50 different bottles! HOLY CRAP!! And they call ME the Wine Whore! Seriously though, what a waste! There's no way that even the strongest liver could surmount swallowing 50 bottles of wine in one night... so what happens? I'm sure about 49.5 bottles worth of wine go down the drain. That's a crime in my eyes.

Personally, I like to taste through no more than three bottles in one sitting. That way, if there are any leftovers, I can reasonably enjoy them the next day. Obviously public wine tastings and panels are another story because the wine is shared amongst many people but I have to say when it comes to tasting different wine at home...

How much is TOO much to try to taste through in ONE sitting?

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CChamberlain said...

I agree with you that 3 for one person should be the limit, mainly because so much goes to waste otherwise! Even 3 can be a lot if no one else is around to enjoy them with you. If you're drinking three bottles of wine in tree days I highly doubt you can even comprehend if you like it or not!

I'm currently doing my WSET advanced at home which means I'm opening 6 bottles of wine in one sitting for a TASTE. i do have a vaccumm sealer but when I get to the really good stuff (um the Burgundy section) full of Premier and Grand Crus, I am not going to want to waste those!

If you make a trip up to CT, I'll share! :)

The Wine Whore said...

I totally agree!

How much time does that vacuum sealer buy ya?

I probably still wouldn't use it for any Grand Crus :)

foodandwinechickie said...

Personally, I find that keeping a tasting to 6-8 wines works. Yes, tasting and spitting 20-30 wines is a neat opportunity to say you've 'tried' many wines, but it's not ideal, in my humble opinion.

The Wine Whore said...

Exactly! 20+ wines is fun and a great way to experience a LOT of wine.. but you're missing out on the whole experience that way.

Slow down, enjoy a nice glass (without spitting) and see where it takes you!

That's half the trip!

Kevin Glowacki said...

For a tasting, I usually stuck with the six to eight range. Beyond that and folks just didn't discern much difference. Professional tasters develop a certain regimen and learn how to deal with keeping their palate fresh.

My biggest issue is that tastings still remove the wine from context, which is with food and sharing with friends. I think they are extremely valuable to get a sense of certain wines, but can be misleading with others, as some wines really need a long decant time to show well in their youth. That or they need the proper food.

I always noticed that new world wine tastings were more entertaining for folks, whereas old world wines didn't have the food they needed to let them show their best.

I think the most I ever tasted in a trade tasting was about 50 and at that point, I just wanted a beer or a cocktail.

The Wine Whore said...

LOL! "Anyone got a beer?" I need to try that at my next wine tasting... I'm sure it would get a good laugh!

Context is key! Who cares if a wine gets a score of 90+ points... I want a bottle that is sure deliver a good time given what/how I am going to be enjoying it!

Is there a way to quantify THAT?

drinknectar said...

Vinography does great reviews! I can't imagine how raw his mouth got - more power to him.

I'm the same way. When reviewing, I try to keep it as a head to head or a threesome (probably a fantasy that can't get fulfilled reference here) - but obviously when we go to wine tours we'll stop by up to 8 wineries in one day and try between 3-6 wines at each, so...

The Wine Whore said...

Those tours are a lot of fun! I'm always surprised at how messed up I can get from just a couple stops... ever try one of the limo wine tours?

Joe said...

couple things:

I think 50 is okay if you're spitting. A travesty, yes, but I think critical to keep sharp.

For drinking, 5-10 with a group of folks. Especially if all the same varietal; you can really pick up the "fingerprint" characteristics of a certain grape or region this way.

Also (seriously) a sip of beer is a great way to cleanse your palate between tastings. If we're doing 5 of one region or variety, then 5 of another, I'll drink a beer in between.

The Wine Whore said...

I really like the idea of sippin' on a beer between tastings! I'll have to try it!

Does it have to be beer or can it be scotch or cognac too?

Richard Auffrey said...

Almost every week, I share 6-8 bottles of wine with my friends, though generally it works out to one bottle per person. That is fine as we drink them with dinner, and over several hours.

The Wine Whore said...

Now that's a great point! If you're gonna open several bottles, just make sure you can share!

I bet the wine tastes MUCH better that way AND it's always fun to hear what other people think of the wine too!

Sam Klingberg said...

i've done a lot of tastings with twenty to thirty wines, and i think if you're spitting, that seems to be fine. At Pinot Days in Chicago (my first trade tasting) I had 120 wines in my notebook, and everything tasted virtually the same after about 60 or 70...

I think if you really are looking to enjoy the wine "in yr own home," two to three is plenty (unless your liver is already pickled, nick cage style)

The Wine Whore said...

LOL! I like that... 'pickled liver'!

Do you think that helps preserve it? :)

I would have to believe that anything over 30-50 in one sitting would totally blow out your palate.

Now, the question is, would you RATHER taste 100 wines in one night, or just one bottle while relaxing at home?

P.S. I added your blog to me reader!

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